What is chia seed oil used for and what are its health benefits?

Chia seeds have been marketed by health food companies as a nutritional powerhouse, gaining a huge reputation as a protein supplement and staple food for ultra-healthy people (Getty Images)

World Health Organization (WHO) recommends “adopting a healthy diet to protect yourself from all forms of malnutrition as well as non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.”

Similarly, supreme international health agency It maintains that “evidence shows the health benefits of a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes and nuts and low in salt, free sugars and fats, especially saturated and trans fats.”

the thing is that chia seedsIf consumed as part of a balanced diet, there are components present that can prevent the development of chronic diseases. Dr. Melinda Ring, integrative medicine specialist at Northwestern Medicine, told new York TimesIn a note published in infobae, These grains are “incredibly healthy as a natural food source.”

Chia seeds benefit human health when found in a varied, balanced and healthy diet (Getty Images)

Chia seeds come from the plant Salvia Hispanica L And it started being cultivated as a food source as early as 3500 BC. c., and were offered to Aztec gods in religious ceremonies. These can vary between black and white. Similarly, gastroenterology experts do not recommend consuming the seeds directly, as they may alter digestion.

Instead, Lisa Ganzhu warned new York TimesAssociate Professor at New York University Grossman School of Medicine, specializing in gastroenterology, is the best soak them Place them in water or non-dairy milk for a few hours until they swell, turn into a gelatinous slime, or grind them and add them to baked goods.

Chia has become popular as a functional food due to its abundance in oil. Antioxidant And vitamins, as well as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), linolenic acid (LA), tocopherols, and phenolic acids. Since, according to NIH“The high concentration of omega-3 in chia oil may help correct dyslipidemia, i.e., increase LDL, triglycerides, and reduce HDL cholesterol.”

Furthermore, among the benefits, experts Harvard They indicated that chia consumption “reduces blood pressure, inflammation and cholesterol levels, promotes digestive health, helps control weight and diabetes, protects against chronic diseases and improves anxiety and depression.” Is.”

Chia, used by the Aztecs and recommended today for its nutritional properties, offers many health benefits (Getty Images)

chia oil extraction It is obtained by mixing ground seeds in hot water and boiling. Thus, the oil remains floating and its storage becomes possible.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), for the extraction of vegetable oil, a emulsionIn which the seeds are mixed with hot water, resulting in a paste which is kneaded by hand or machine.

In stationary mortar systems large rotary crushers are driven by motors, men or animals, which create friction and pressure on the oily seeds such as chia seeds, causing the oil to be released at the base of the mortar. There are other systems used in rural oil extraction that use heavy stones, levers, wedges, and twisted ropes. A plate or piston is manually pressed by means of a screw into a perforated cylinder containing the ground oil mass. The oil is collected at the bottom of the perforated chamber.

Professionals recommend keeping the seeds wet until they germinate. Consuming it directly can cause digestive problems (Getty Images)

According to HarvardThese seeds contain high amounts Alpha-linolenic fatty acid (ALA). Other than this, 60% oil comes from Omega-3 Fatty Acid, These are an important type of polyunsaturated fat and must come from food because the body cannot produce them. They have shown beneficial effects cardiovascular health For cholesterol reduction, regulation of heart rate and blood pressure, prevention of blood clots, and reduction of inflammation.

Additionally, the seeds may have beneficial effects on cholesterol levels. that’s because fiber These mainly contain soluble fiber and mucilage. The latter is the substance that produces the sticky texture of chia seeds when they are wetted. “These fibers may help lower LDL cholesterol and slow digestion, which may prevent blood sugar from rising after eating and promote feelings of satiety,” according to Harvard.

Meanwhile, a composition was published in the magazine European Journal of Agricultural and Food Sciences (eJFood)indicated, after noting that “chia is consumed as seeds and oil, with similar effects,” that “the oil is a biological precursor of polyunsaturated fatty acids, α-linoleic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, and eicosapentaenoic acid.” For this reason, it is ranked as an “immunity enhancer” and has been shown to be an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticoagulant, laxative, antidepressant, anxiolytic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory in the control of diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension and Has therapeutic effect on vision.

Chia oil contains Valuable bioactive metabolites. It also has antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antioxidant, antiobesity and antihyperlipidemic properties. It has even been shown to be therapeutic barkAccording to a study published in research gate,

Chia seeds come in white and black varieties, but there’s no difference in nutritional content (Getty Images)

The skin can be affected by various conditions, such as viral, bacterial, fungal infections, imbalance of fatty acids in the blood, allergic reactions, kidney failure, etc. Apart from necessary medical consultation, products made from chia seeds can be used to treat these problems due to their properties. Nutritious.

Similarly, research published in the United States National Library of Medicine, PubMedCentral, topical chia seed oil has been deployed as a solution to itching in patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD) and healthy volunteers. “After 8 weeks of application, significant improvements in skin hydration, lichen simplex chronicus and prurigo nodularis were observed in all patients. “Similar improvements were seen in healthy volunteers with xerotic pruritus.”

At the same time, they indicated that “improvements in the barrier function of epidermal permeability and skin hydration, represented by transepidermal water loss and skin capacitance, respectively,” were recorded, for which they concluded that the “oil” of chia seeds “May be used as an adjunctive moisturizing agent for itchy skin, including patients with ESRD.”

Since chia is “one of the most important plant sources of ALA it also contains a good contribution of dietary fiber, proteins with high biological activity, and abundant compounds with antioxidant capacity,” according to research conducted by Conceit In 2018.

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